Racing News Update: IRL/Champ Car Finally One After 12-Year Split
Racing League founder and CEO Tony George and owners of the Champ Car
World Series have completed an agreement in principle that will unify
major American open-wheel racing for 2008.
The agreement was signed by Champ Car owners in
principle Feb. 22 in Chicago. George signed the agreement Feb. 21.
Details of a news conference regarding unification and ancillary
questions will be forthcoming.
The Indy Racing League, sanctioning body of the IndyCar Series and
Indy Pro Series, will absorb an unspecified number of Champ Car teams and '08 race
events. George had offered free Honda engine lease programs and free
Dallara chassis to teams, plus the incentive of the TEAM (Team
Enhancement and Allocation Matrix) program, which pays a minimum $1.2
million to full-season teams.
Indy Racing League officials and IndyCar Series teams have been
assisting prospective teams get ramped up for competing under the
IndyCar Series banner on a challenging mix of ovals and road/street
No transition teams are expected to participate in the IndyCar
Series' first Open Test of the year at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Feb.
27-28. The test (4-10 p.m. ET both days) is open to the public free of
charge, with viewing from the fourth level of the main grandstand.
Timing and Scoring will be available on indycar.com. Some teams from
the former CCWS might be ready to participate in an Open Test on the
Sebring International Raceway road course March 3-6.
There have been two open-wheel racing series in North America since
1996, when George announced plans for an
open-wheel racing series -- with the Indianapolis 500 as its
cornerstone -- as an alternative to the sanctioning Championship Auto
Racing Teams. That series went bankrupt in 2003 and emerged as the
Champ Car World Series in 2004.